Tag Archives: terrible things that happen sometimes

Three sentences too far. Wait, no – four. Four.

I was at the mall today because I go to a Benefit Brow Bar every three weeks to get my eyebrows done. I’m not going to talk about that today because it was pointed out to me that maybe I should PACE MYSELF and I don’t actually know how to do that, so what I guess I’ll do is mention a bunch of things, not actually talk about them, and then maybe get around to talking about them on another day in November when I feel like I don’t have anything else to talk about. So, future me – not too far future me, but still in November 2013 me, so maybe next week me, or week after next me – you can talk about eyebrows, if you want to, if you’re in the mood for that. You probably won’t be. I don’t know. I don’t know you. We haven’t met yet. Hope you’re doing well.

After my MYSTERY EYEBROW APPOINTMENT that MAYBE you’ll hear about or MAYBE YOU WON’T, I was wandering around the mall on a mission for some full coverage foundation, because my eyebrow girl, who is fantastic, said “You look… tired.” Which I know is generally seen as an insulting thing to say. So maybe you’re feeling a little het up on my behalf right now. Which is really kind of you. But I did look kind of tired, or kind of something, at least, because I’m taking this medication – hey, there’s some more stuff for another day – and anyway, it’s been doing some things, and apparently, some of the things that it’s been doing have been being… been bong… been banged onto my face. I hope I’m not saying it in a vain way – well, I know I’m not saying it in a vain way, but I hope you understand it’s not meant to come across in a vain way – when I say that I’ve had relatively decent skin in my adult years (this has certainly not been the lifelong case at ALL). A blemish or two at certain times, but nothing else. Generally even skin tone, not dry, not oily.

Well, I’ve described all of this to you just so I could tell you NOT ANYMORE. It is all weird colored and shrunken and unappealing to me. All my of light, sheer coverage solutions do nothing. I even mixed together two of my favorite BB creams so that they could, in concert, do nothing. Now, note that I said it’s become unappealing to me. Meaning that I needed to fix it to make it more appealing to me. Just like I don’t walk out of my house and eye up the faces of other people, deciding that they need to do to make their faces more appealing to my tastes, neither do I do up my own face with the intent and purpose of making it more appealing to others. I operate at my best, and most confident, and most comfortable in general when my outward appearance is something that I am personally comfortable with. It has nothing to do with your appearance, and may actually even have little to do with my own appearance. I can wake up looking exactly the same two days in a row and one day be fine with it and one day prefer wearing some makeup.

I’m just saying, right now – me expressing dissatisfaction with my uneven skin tone says NOTHING AT ALL about how I feel about your skin tone. I do not think about your skin tone. I don’t eye up the quality of your skin. I don’t think about your skin when I talk to you. When you sit next to me, I will tell you if you have lipstick on your teeth, or I will tell you if I like your eye makeup, but I legitimately give no bother beyond that. None. I talk a lot about my hunt for the perfect eyebrow product on Twitter (IT’S GIMME BROW), but I’m not considering your eyebrows unless you ask me to specifically consider your eyebrows. Honestly and truly. I don’t.

bothers

Hint: It’s none.

And this is where I would assure you that actually, everyone is like this. Everyone is like me, and totally self-centered and self-absorbed, and really only cares about her own eyebrows and own skin tone and own makeup and dwells upon the face situations of others only when asked. Like how when fat people (I did use the word fat) want to go to the gym, but bring up the fact that they feel self-conscious – that they feel like they need to get in shape first, in order to feel less conspicuous or silly or noticed or silently mocked or otherwise OUT THERE at the gym. And someone jumps in to say that that’s ridiculous, everyone at the gym is there to work out, no one is looking at anyone else, everyone is there for the same reason and it’s serious business.

EXCEPT NO. That is a big lie. That is a huge lie. Probably most of you reading are like me, or want to tell yourself you’re like me, so you’re thinking, “No! No! Not a lie! A true! Opposite of a lie! A not lie!” But it only takes one person to ruin that, and that one person is Twitter. Twitter, telling you what they saw someone wearing at the gym. Or how long they had to wait for someone going HOW slow on the treadmill? Or? OR? In one notable case that still frustrates me to no end, because I did not unfollow the second it happened, and I SHOULD HAVE, and now I don’t remember who it was and search is failing me, someone posted an ACTUAL PHOTO of the person on the next treadmill, along with a comment on the person’s body.

thatsmessedup

So no. No, I can’t assure you that what I say about me carries over to other people. Because other people have clearly demonstrated that to be a huge lie, in some of the worst ways. I can tell you that how I feel about the way my skin looks and how it makes me feel on a given day has nothing to do with how I feel about your skin, and how your skin should make you feel. I can also say I think I should be allowed to feel ways about my skin without feeling at the same time that it transfers to how I feel about your skin automatically. I have to wear my body, and I don’t have to wear yours. Your body has no power to make me unhappy or uncomfortable, unless you press it all up on me without my express personal permission and let’s all just assume you don’t have that.

LISTEN. Here’s the thing. I just know I talk a lot about makeup. I know I talk about how I’d like my eyebrows to look better. Or today, how my skin has taken a turn I don’t like, and how I’d like to change that to make it more pleasant to me. And I want you to know that I don’t ever think about you that way. I don’t think about the makeup anyone does or doesn’t wear unless it’s brought up to me by that person. And I guess it would be nice if everyone was like that, but we know that’s not true, because people are taking pictures of other people at the gym. It’s messed up, and we can wish it wasn’t true, but it is. Just don’t care what those people think, right? Ha.

What’s hilarious is the fact that I went to Sephora and bought some full coverage foundation actually has NOTHING to do with this post.

WHILE I WAS WALKING TO SEPHORA TO BUY SOME FULL COVERAGE FOUNDATION FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE – which I’ll tell you about another time, because at 1300 words in, I’m totally learning how to pace myself – I saw that Bath and Body Works was having a SALE! On SOAP! Hand soap! SHIT YES!

So after I bought the foundation I can’t tell you about because I’m clearly in danger of running out of words at some point soon, I went in to Bath and Body Works, and they had SO MANY SOAPS. All the new Christmas smells! Soaps littered all over the store! No sense of order! No organization! Soaps here! Soaps there! Soap! Soap!

Soap 5 for $15, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I started grabbing soap with no plan. I’m stacked boob to chin with soap. But then I started thinking. Phil bought me a bunch of soap for Mother’s Day, and we had just run out. Well, not actually run out. The problem is, we have just one left, and it’s a scent I really like, but I cannot ABIDE by it in the kitchen. I can’t have strong, floral-smelling hands when I’m trying to eat or cook. Just can’t deal with it. I needed a STRATEGY. Half florals, half kitchen appropriate smells, then, right? But if I do THAT, then I’m basically making myself STEWARD OF THE SOAP. And except for all of the things I hate more, there’s nothing I hate more than being the one solely in charge of any specific chore.

Start over. I put all my soaps back. KITCHEN ONLY SMELLS. BRILLIANT. All the smells will have to be tested for kitcheniness and then ANYONE can replace ANY soap without my intervention needed, which is great, considering my husband is totally smeaf.

Now I’m EXTRA happy, sniffing away, grabbing soaps and grabbing soaps and pinballing from display to display, but then I realized, I had SIX. And also that the space between my boobs and my chin was positively soap-jammed. So I went to get a bag, and an employee watched me try to wrestle a bag free, get half a bag free, attempt to dump my treasures into the bag, and then helpfully asked, “Do you need a bag?” I DO! I DO NEED A BAG! ALL THIS SOAP!

And I was off again! Sniffing up one wall and down the other. Did you know they have these metal decorative things that your soap bottles can SIT IN? Like a shirt. For your soap. Anyway, I got all the Christmas time smells, then I got all the fresh smells, you know, like “Air” and “Tree Fart” and “Nature Yawned” and I was over five, but it was fine, because also? SEVEN FOR $20. BIG SOAP DAY.

GUESS what other section they have? KITCHEN SOAP. Oh hell yes. Got a bunch of those, too. And by this time, I’d forgotten my bag, so I had a Macy’s bag*, and a Sephora bag, and a Bath and Body Works in store shopping bag packed with soap, and then I was once again boobs to well-groomed brows with soap. So much soap, you guys.

I got in line to pay, because I was out of arms, and because I had sniffed every single sniffable thing, examined every single foaming hand soap in the store – every single one – and I had not only picked out any that were kitchen suitable, but also duplicates of my favorites that I worried might be limited edition. While I was waiting in line, an employee asked if I’d be paying with a card, and said that she could take me over at a small side counter. I followed her over and dumped out all my soaps. They took up the whole counter. I tried to count them, but she kept grabbing them, so I said that I thought they were in multiples of the sale, anyway. She said it didn’t matter, because after seven, they were all $2 and some change, anyway.

WHAT. THAT’S AWESOME.

Her: It’s awesome that you’re getting so much shopping done so early!

WE REALLY LIKE TO WASH OUR HANDS!

Her: …

THEY’RE ALL FOR ME!

Her: …

THEY’RE JUST FOR MY HOUSE!

Her: …

WE REALLY LOVE SOAP!

Her: …

original

Her: Receipt with you or in the bag?

BAG’S FINE THANKS BYYYEEEEEE.

Then I immediately called Phil. DUDE I BOUGHT SO MUCH SOAP!

Phil is participating in the Extra Life Marathon for Children’s Miracle Network, specifically playing for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, RIGHT NOW! Here’s a link to his page, but unfortunately, the Extra Life servers suffered a DDoS attack today, which is just mindblowing and sad, so you can’t actually get there as of right now. Regardless, thank you to EVERYONE who has supported Phil via donation, words of encouragement, or sharing his page via Facebook or Twitter and also to everyone who has been supporting our family during our I hate the word journey journey with Phoenix Children’s and Penelope’s health over the last two years. We’ll continue to support CMN and Phoenix Children’s via this fundraiser in the future, so please let us know if you’d like to get involved next year!

* I’d LOVE to let you know what happened to Penelope’s pajamas, but I’ve got to pace myself. 2200 words a day. Max.

What’s up, Wrong-o?

I think it’s fine to use the popcorn button on your microwave. It’s arrogant Big Popcorn that wants you to think you can’t use it. Calm down popcorn, you’re just popcorn.

I think if you’re a grown adult and still doing any version of “I liked that before everyone else knew about it” out loud, you’re probably doing something wrong. There aren’t any points for that. You didn’t win. If you liked it a long time ago, you made a lucky discovery before other people got to it. That doesn’t make other people less, or make you more. It doesn’t make their enjoyment of Thing less true or sincere or valid, or your enjoyment of Thing a superior, more deep enjoyment or fanhood. No, rather, now you are two people who like Thing. Two people who can now like Thing together. And that’s good. Liking a thing together is one of the best things about liking a thing. Gleeful and sincere shared enjoyment of a thing is fantastic and there should always be room for more, really. Enjoyment of a thing can’t be used up. Also, stop it. Grow up. Move over, make space.

I bet you’re thinking, we all know this is going to lead into you talking about how much you like Korean television and wish people would watch along with you, but no one is going to watch with you, so you should just stop talking about it. WELL, I WON’T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. I WON’T. SO GIVE UP, YOU.

PtheLorax

Penelope was the Lorax for Halloween.

I spend most of my time these days in a recliner under a blanket like a hundred year old person in a recliner under a blanket, for reasons I’ll probably eventually get into if I decide to post for all of November because I don’t have thirty days of ideas but it’s actually more likely that I’ll just abandon the project by Sunday. And my recliner is under a ceiling fan that doesn’t turn off, which is just straight bullshit if you ask me. Which, if you ask me, you did, kind of, by reading this blog. Which you did. It’s still pretty warm here in the afternoons and the evenings, when the sun has been warming the house all day, and we actually still run the air conditioning in the evenings and through the night, because Phil likes to sleep at 74 degrees. Which, fine. 74 is a reasonable indoor temperature, right? And in the mornings, I turn the air conditioning off, because I’m cold. Lately, I’ve been returning to the thermostat several times a day, trying to figure out why I’m still cold when I know I turned it up. It turns out, it’s because it’s kind of not hot outside anymore. So while the air conditioning isn’t running, it’s staying around 74 in the house for most of the day, until the late afternoon, when it warms back up a bit.

Now, EXPERIENCE TELLS ME that this cooling trend is going to continue. Soon, it will stay around 74 for more of the day. And then around 73. Or lower. And no air conditioning at all will be necessary to keep it cool in the house. And as the winter season goes on, even in Arizona, the nights will be cooler. Cooler, even, than 74 degrees. We won’t need to use the air conditioning to get the house to Phil’s preferred 74 degrees, which is actually quite chilly with the blowers going at night, especially because we use a fan to keep the air moving and the dog stink from settling on us. Our room in particular can get quite still and heavy with the two of us and the two of them.

So I asked Phil this. I says to him, you like it 74 at night, right? And he confirmed. And I said, soon it will even be cooler than that at night. And he said, that will be nice. And I said, but 74 is a reasonable temperature for the house to be. Well, yes, he said. So, I said to him, we could, in theory, on those cooler nights, employ the HEAT to bring the temperature UP to that reasonable temperature of 74. Maybe 73. 70, even, could be fine. But we could use the HEAT to bring the temperature UP to the place where we are currently using air conditioning to bring it DOWN. Right? Because we agree, it’s a reasonable temperature. And he said to me, no. No, it’s different. Because it’s HEATING versus COOLING.

BUT SEVENTY INDOOR DEGREES IS REASONABLE REGARDLESS, RIGHT? How is it DIFFERENT?

(I know, in some people’s houses you prefer to never run the heat. Or you actually prefer to sleep in the very, very cold. Or you prefer another specific temperature calculated exactly for maximum efficiency and money savings. I know. Everyone is different.)

If 74 degrees is a reasonable house temperature now, achieved with air conditioning, how is it NOT a reasonable temperature (even when I give a few degrees, down to 70) when achieved with heat? HM, PHILLIP? PHILLIP THE UNREASONABLE? PHILLIP THE UNREASONABLE OF UNSOUND ARGUMENTLANDIA?

Speaking of the King of LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOUR LOGICSHIRE, our three year anniversary was last week.

thankspal

Despite all capslocks to the contrary, we’re quite well matched.

“Oh,” you’re thinking. “Purple flowers and a card of a suitable nature! An anniversary well done!” WELL, GUESS WHAT, WRONG-O. Your new name is WRONG-O.

Do you see there, over to the left side of the picture? It’s Phil, leaning into the fridge, doing the traditional and ceremonial burial at trashcan of all of the leftovers we didn’t get around to eating before I went grocery shopping again. Except the day ended up all crunched and weird, and I actually ended up taking Phil shopping with me. I had a LIST that followed a carefully laid out MEAL PLAN which adhered to our budget, so this on its own was a dangerous endeavor. A Phil in a grocery store is a magnet for cheese products and crackers and cheese product crackers that I never seem to notice until I’m unpacking the groceries. They go into some hidden nook in the cart that only he knows about and I swear he slips the cashier a ten to slide them through while my back is turned and I’m left wondering how I spend six thousand dollars on two packs of chicken breasts and some applesauce pouches. OH, WE BOUGHT EIGHTEEN FLAVORS OF CAPTAIN CRUNCH AND ONE OF EVERY CHEESE THANKS PHIL.

So I lectured him before we went in. I told him, if I come pick you up from work and take you with us (otherwise he’d sit at work an extra hour or so while we shopped, that’s life with one car), you will stay near the cart! Hands where I can see them! AT ALL TIMES! He agreed. And he really behaved himself through several aisles, so I gave him some leeway. I normally don’t buy snack food by a list, but kind of just pick whatever based on what’s on sale, what looks good, and what Phil and Penny like. In the interest of speeding things along, I sent him into the cookie/cracker aisle to “grab JUST A COUPLE THINGS and bring them back.” And to his credit, he did come back with just a couple things and dumped them in the cart. We got everything we needed, we stayed within the budget, it was a successful trip.

SO WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM, right? Is that what you’re thinking right now, Wrong-o? (That’s you. You’re Wrong-o.)

A few days later, I was looking for a snack to give Penelope. Well, it turns out, on our ANNIVERSARY, of all days, the snack foods I had TRUSTED him to acquire? He bought WHOLE GRAIN Fig Newtons. But it was fine, because he’d gotten two packages. BUT NO. The second package was ALSO WHOLE GRAIN.

As soon as he got home from work, I confronted him with my disbelief, my deep sense of betrayal, and absolute bewilderment that he’d buy TWO packages of whole grain Newtons. And do you know what he says to me, Wrong-o? He says, “THEY TASTE EXACTLY THE SAME.”

Are you feeling it now, Wrong-o? Are you feeling your deep, essential wrongness?

“THEY TASTE EXACTLY THE SAME.”

And then he took it further.

“I bet you $20 that in a blind taste test, you could not tell the difference between regular and whole grain Fig Newtons.”

Well. There’s only one response to that.

I DEMAND HIGHER STAKES.

Life intervened for a little while. A short while.

NEWTON DAY

YESTERDAY WAS THE DAY.
NEWTON DAY.

Phillip, Grand Poobah of Inappropriate Snackfood Choices and Head of the Parliamentary Board of Indiscriminate Tastebuds, administered the test. It was to be a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE – if it was just two Newtons, according to him, I’d have a 50/50 chance and there was no possible way success on my part could be credited to an ACTUAL difference between delicious Newtons and sand-wrapped crap Newton-impostors.

I turned my back to the table, and he handed me a Newton. I bit it. “GROSS NEWTON.” I set it down. He claimed I had to eat the whole thing. “I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT HAVE TO EAT THAT. IT IS GROSS.” He didn’t tell me if I was right or wrong. He handed me another Newton to my other hand – apparently The High Muckety Muck of Newton Testing Standards and Enforcement has his ways – and I took a bite. “REAL NEWTON.” Still, he didn’t tell me. This went on for two more Newtons, for a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE.

At the end, I turned around. He looks at me, and he says, “You got them all wrong.”

I MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT.

“Okay,” he says, “You got them all right.”

KNEW IT.

NEWTONCHALLENGE

Ass of Newton Challenge: Kicked

“BUT,” he says. “It doesn’t count.”

HOW CAN IT NOT COUNT. FOUR NEWTONS. FOUR CORRECT IDENTIFICATIONS. CRAP, GOOD, GOOD, CRAP.

“I can’t tell the difference. They taste exactly the same. So it doesn’t count.”

Okay. Okay. So, bringing it all back around. There’s a DIFFERENCE between 70 degrees achieved with air conditioning and 70 degrees achieved with the heating, even though they’re both 70 degrees, and there’s a difference because he can tell there’s a difference. He can tell, therefore, a difference exists.

I successfully complete a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE, executed under his own standards and procedures, because I can ABSOLUTELY TELL THE DIFFERENCE between an excellent Newton and a crappy grainy Newton of sadness and woe, but my accomplishments in the field of snacks count for nothing, because he can’t tell, thus no difference actually exists.

Put that in your shopping cart and sneak it past the flowers, WRONG-O.

Nag Lorax

EXCUSE ME, you’re going to recycle that bottle, correct? And compost that apple core?

Super Great

I just don’t know if I’ve ever met someone so great.

 

 

I thought it was going to be all complaining but it’s just mostly complaining.

I had to take a break for a while, due to some health concerns and the fact that my husband was away for six weeks and a Penelope stops Peneloping for no man or blog. Oh, and also, I watch Korean television, like, ALL THE TIME. But when I talk about it, it’s like I’m talking to Penelope, because no one gives a shit or listens or does what I say and then just draws on the wall even though I am RIGHT THERE and saying STOP IT.

Or, at least, I thought that’s why I took a break, but I just logged in here to make a post and it turns out THIS STUPID POST INTERFACE DIDN’T MAGICALLY FIX ITSELF and I guess I wasn’t posting for a while also because everything is stupid.

Anyway, Phil’s been back for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve gone as far as to open WordPress a couple of times to regale you will all of my thoughts, but I’ve stopped short when I’ve realized that most of my thoughts are more like complaints or complainy observations, and there’s bound to be someone who is all, “geeze, don’t you do ANYTHING but COMPLAIN?” and I will point out to you that I just did several months of nothing, so yes, I complain and I also do nothing. So, I’ve just unmade your point for you right there, hypothetical person I made up in my mind largely as a reason not to make the effort to post.

(At this point in writing this post, I updated WordPress, and some things fixed themselves, but I can’t go back in time to two months ago and do that. Sorry.)

FLYING BATHTUB

Here’s my kid in a flying bathtub.
I went to the Phoenix Children’s Museum while I wasn’t posting.
I also started using Instagram.
It was an eventful time.

So during this whole period, most of what was occurring to me to post was pretty complainy stuff (see: health issues, husband away for a month and a half, general predisposition to narrowed eyes and curmudgeonliness in the face of blank text editors), and it was stacking up. I had piles of small ideas for a blog post, but they nearly all fell in the “general grumbling” category, making me feel as though I couldn’t write a WHOLE POST of general grumbling – though I don’t know why I felt I couldn’t, when I’ve made a pretty solid five year blog career of doing just that.

I was thinking a bit about why it bothered me, and it mostly comes down to the trend of pegging anyone who has anything negative to say as someone who must actually be deeply sad or internally unhappy with herself somehow. Or how someone who finds fault with another person  is actually just jealous. I guess it’s pretty tempting to imagine deep faults in another person when they’re finding fault with you, but we all know that’s just something we say to make ourselves feel better, right? That those are completely empty and likely totally untrue words in most cases?

Desert Ridge Market Place

We also went to a splash pad.
She was reluctant to splash.

Listen, all of this is lead up to say this: you can’t send me an email that says: FREE SHIPPING!! as the subject, and then inside, it says, “with $50 purchase.” That’s not free shipping. I basically expect free shipping with a $50 purchase from most of the places I shop, because I do not buy expensive things. That email subject line is bullshit and I hate it, and fucking stop.

Here’s another thing. Phil was gone for six weeks.

Here is another thing. Phil was gone for six weeks, and then he had a week of leave, and for some reason, since he has to shave for work every day, he feels no obligation to shave when he’s on leave, even if his leave is long enough that the only face I can make at him by the end is a hate face.

The helpful hobo

After church one Sunday, this random helpful bearded hobo offered to buckle my kid into her carseat. Thanks, hobo! Go shave. Because you look like a hobo. Hobo.

Hey, I know I have not been totally on the ball with updates here on this site, but hopefully those who are interested in attending PJs at TJ’s in 2014 have already joined the Facebook group. If you haven’t, you can do that now or follow me on Twitter for updates, but regardless of either of those things, you should know that registration opens at 9am west coast time on October 10th, which is this Thursday. All of the details are in the Facebook group so… I still suggest you go ahead and join it for full information. I can’t tell you if it will sell out or not, because I don’t know, or how quickly it will sell out if it does, but the best way to make sure you get a spot if you want one is to sign up for the Facebook group and register when registration opens on Thursday morning. Like always (the whole entire two past years), PJs is not exclusive. Everyone is welcome. There’s no secret in club or list. You don’t have to know anyone to come. You do have to register and it is first come, first in, and that includes people who have attended in the past or who are my very best pals in the whole wide world, so don’t think you don’t have a shot because I’m going to try to pull some tricky shenanigans so only my friends can come. That would make me a big hypocritical asshole, and while I am several kinds of asshole, I am not that kind.

If you have any questions, leave a comment, email me, message me on Twitter or Facebook, whatever you want. I don’t extend personal invitations, nor do I extend personal exclusions. You, personally, are welcome. That’s it. That’s the best I can do to assure you. I’m assuring you.

Penny on Charlie

LOOK AT MY HORSE, MY HORSE IS AMAZING.

Penny also on Charlie

On further reflection, this horse is just okay.

Let this be a lesson to me, I should have just complained when my complaints were hot, imaginary complaint complainers be damned, because now I can’t remember any of my complaints, except for one, which was kind of specific, in that I can, if pressed, name several people that I have, over the course of ACTUAL YEARS, seen do this specific thing, even though I would not actually be thinking of THEM SPECIFICALLY if I was to complain about it, you know what I mean? Like, for example, if I say, “I hate people who jump in the checkout line when they only have one thing, as if it’s their right.”

A guy actually did this to us fairly recently, fairly recently meaning I remember it but don’t have any real concept of the time frame. Just walked up and said, “Can I just get my bananas” and set them on the belt and began to go through the whole checkout process as if it was just a given that it was fine, because we had several items in our cart and he had the MOST IMPORTANT BANANAS IN THE WORLD in his hand.

OUT OF THE WAY, LIFE-SAVING BANANAS COMING THROUGH.

And you know, when I have a full cart, I do often let someone with just a couple of items go in front of me. But that’s my call. On this occasion, we had several items in our cart, but by no means a full load. Maybe we were in a hurry, too. Maybe we had exactly enough time for X items, with X being the number of items in our cart. Not X plus NICHOLAS CAGE’S BANANAS (I assume). How arrogant do you have to be to assume that wherever WE have to be is unimportant enough that it can absolutely, definitely and certainly wait for one banana bunch checkout’s length of time in addition to the time we’ve already calculated for our own shopping? How do you assess the shopping lanes to choose? “Oh, those schmucks there can definitely wait a banana length. They’ve got nowhere banana-important to be. Not like me. OUT OF THE WAY, PEONS. INCOMING BANANAS DESTINED FOR THE BREAKFAST OATMEAL OF THE GRANDSON OF SPUDS MACKENZIE.”

Anyway, so sometimes when you pick a specific complaint to make, like the one I had in my head that, when pressed, I could remember some people I do actually like and consider friends and don’t in any way hate AT ALL maybe doing on one or two occasions, one like “I hate people who jump in the checkout line when they only have one thing, as if it’s their right,” you’ve got to be ready for those people to maybe defend it. And I get that, I guess, because I just said I don’t like something you do, and we’re friends, so obviously I actually hate you.

And someone will say, “Well, I’m actually responsible for buying Nicholas Cage’s bananas.” Or tries to explain how it’s actually a courtesy on their part to stop clogging up the lines with just their one bunch of teeny weeny bananas. Or explain how they only did it one time, but they actually did have a really extremely important place to be that time, more important than anyone else in the store could have possibly had to be. And then everyone feels awkward. Because, what? I’m supposed to start giving arrogant banana line rushers the benefit of the doubt? I’m supposed to issue individual pardons so that a line jumper can mentally reconcile the fact that they can both do something that I personally don’t like, yet still somehow remain my friend? I’m supposed to… continue this awkward stare down?

LOOK, YOU AND YOUR BANANAS NEED TO JUST WAIT FOR THE NOD, OKAY?

And that’s why I had to just scrub one whole complaint from the list, but I think the whole banana guy thing worked out pretty well, because THAT GUY, RIGHT? WHAT THE HELL? “Can I just get my bananas?” Can I just rip off your arm and beat you with the wet end?

Here’s something else. I haven’t talked a lot about makeup stuff recently because I haven’t talked a lot about anything recently, but you need to go out and get Gimmie Brow by Benefit right now, and I will demonstrate the reason with an actual picture of my actual face wearing the actual makeup product I am actually talking about, something I have never actually done on this blog, which is kind of amazing, considering how much I talk about makeup. I went and got my eyebrows done by the most amazing eyebrow lady in all the land, and after the waxed my wonky and odd shaped eyebrows, she used only ONE PRODUCT on them, Gimmie Brow, and this is what they looked like, holy shit, go buy it:

Don't care, eyebrow hair.

Far from the most flattering angle of my forehead wrinkles.
Don’t care, eyebrow hair.

Macy’s, Ulta, Sephora, Benefit site, wherever you’re racking up your bonus points for buying all the awesome holiday gift sets that are coming out. Buy Gimmie Brow. Do it.

Anyway. That’s it, I guess. We’ve still got a lot going on right now. Some stuff is up in the air. Still working on some somewhat difficult health issues.

Oh! But Penelope isn’t! In September, she was pronounced completely clear of all kidney and VUR issues by her pediatric urologist and she was completely released from care by her team at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. All issues related to her failure to thrive and vesicoureteral reflux have been resolved. We passed my “one year catheter free” goal and hopefully she’ll stay catheter free until she epidurals up for her own kid some day.

Penelope's Last U/S

Pro.

And speaking of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phil is once again participating in the Extra Life marathon fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network, specifically playing for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Last year, he was playing when Penelope’s surgery was pretty recent. This year, he’s playing shortly after finding out that we’re completely done with seeing Penny’s team at Phoenix Children’s, but I don’t think we’ll be ending our relationship with them – in terms of support – for a long time.

Children’s Miracle Network raises money for hospitals across the United States and Canada, to fund research and buy equipment, but most importantly to us, to pay for uncompensated care. We are lucky enough to be in a situation that Penelope’s expensive care and surgery didn’t burden us financially. For others, Children’s Miracle Network provides the funds to allow families in less fortunate situations benefit from the same excellent standard of care Penelope has received for literally her entire life from Phoenix Children’s Hospital. PCH has benefited our family in more ways than just the top notch medical care they provided to Penelope, and that needs to be extended to as many children and their parents as possible.

ANYWAY, the Extra Life Marathon is coming up! Here’s Phil’s fundraising page. If you’d like to donate, we’d appreciate it very much. If you could share the page on your social networks, we’d appreciate that, too. If you’re feeling crazy and want to stay up for 24 hours straight playing video games and want to support Phoenix Children’s while you do it, let me know and I’ll get you in touch with Phil and he’ll get you started with joining his team. If you just want to think about joining next year, still let me know. We’ll still be here.

That’s it! Thank you!

HO SHIT GUYS PUMPKINS

Bunshole uses of “Well, that’s what you get.”

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have recently clued in to the fact that I have what I have started calling a “maximum two year old.” You can interpret that however you want, I guess, because I haven’t found a way yet to go into detail in a way that won’t end with me being really irritated. She is a top end child. She is up there. My belief in my own absolute averageness is only strengthened by her existence, because it is top of the range people like Penelope, combined with bottom of the range other babies belonging to parents who should just go right to hell with their smug, unbruised faces, that combine to create the average, middle babies, that an average number of people are walking around with. My maximum two year old is what allows for your “kind of in there, somewhere” two year old to just be in there, somewhere.

I don’t even want to talk about it, because I know that someone had somehow had a worse kid even though I haven’t even detailed mine, or that I should JUST WAIT until she’s a teenager, because THAT’S a fine thing to say to someone trying to LAUNCH THEIR CHILD into a fan (I HAVE VAULTED CEILINGS), and I know everyone has a bunch of solutions, which leads to rounds upon rounds of “you can do it my way!,” leaving me as the huge, impossible asshole who isn’t even TRYING.

Look, I will tell you what happens, and I will use Swistle as an example, because she can’t stop me. Yesterday, she tweeted that she was looking for a watch with the following specific qualities: multiple alarms, not huge and terrible, not manly. So I looked for one, and I found a Casio watch that wasn’t very expensive, came in a couple blue colors, kept dual times, and was a noted ladies’ watch. I presented it to Swistle, TAA DAAA. I have solved your problem.

Except no! I hadn’t! Because the watch kept dual time, but didn’t actually have multiple alarms. I pointed that out to Swistle when she was lamenting the loss of a good huff, because I, too, enjoy a good huff and sulk. But! That’s not how it always goes. This is how it could have gone, where I am me, and Swistle is Swistle, except I’m being the type of person who makes things difficult sometimes, and Swistle is playing the me role, except it didn’t actually go this way, so I’m really playing both roles right now, and Swistle is just a placeholder, and you should understand that from this point on, none of this actually happened, so this is really a pretend Swistle, not at all actual Swistle.

Pretend Swistle: Oh, this only has one alarm, and I need three. Oh, well, thanks anyway!
Me, being the problem: Well, you can use the one alarm, then reset it, and then use it again, and then reset it!
Pretend Swistle: I guess I could, but that seems like a lot of trouble when I already have a current three alarm system. I can just keep looking for a multiple alarm watch. Thanks!
Me, being the problem: You could get this watch that I found for you, use the one alarm, and then use two of the current alarms that you are already using!
Pretend Swistle: Well, I’m really looking for a watch with multiple alarms, so that watch with one alarm really won’t work.
Me, being the problem: I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT.
Pretend Swistle: … the end to your genetic line.

Look, I’m off track. Let me offer some advice. If your proposed solution to someone’s problem is not sticking, if the person is politely peeling it off each time you stick your tail onto their donkey butt, quit coming back around for a different angle at their rear, no matter how ample it seems and how your tail really seems to perfectly suit it. “Oh, what a lovely tail! I bet that would look really nice on some other donkey! Here, let me gently remove it from my butt and hand it back to you!” That’s a sign that you shouldn’t approach my ass again with the same tail.

Shit! Why does it always go like this? Look, Swistle isn’t a donkey. No one is a donkey. No one has an ass, ample or otherwise. Don’t approach. I mean, if you have the perfect tail, go ahead — NO. NO ONE NEEDS A TAIL. NO ONE NEEDS ASS DECORATION. That was a bad metaphor. You know what I meant. And anyway, of course it was specific people, none of whom are you.

This whole post is bad.

I have a maximum two year old, and I need you to stay away from my ass with anything you might want to pin on it for today. I may turn my ass toward you at another time. For now, I find myself saying, “well, that’s what you get” a lot. As one might expect. Oh, you fell off that teetering pile of foam play form thingers? Well, that’s what you get when you climb on top of a teetering pile of anything. You threw everything you were playing with over the gate and now you’re bewildered that you can’t have it back? Well, that’s what you get when you throw things, all the while bellowing the “NO THROWING!” house rule.

I’m saying, there are a lot of legitimate applications of the phrase, “Well, that’s what you get.” Penelope is probably my main and most valid application. And probably the most apt one for me, as well. “Oh, you had unprotected sex some years ago with the intent of getting pregnant and now you’re struggling with the resulting two year old? Well, that’s what you get.” We wouldn’t be friends anymore after you said such a thing, but it would be a fair, if dicknosey thing to say.

Other legitimate uses:

– Oh, you bought a Groupon for Lasik from a company no one has ever heard of and now you’re blind? Well, that’s kind of what you get.
Oh, you texted your wedding guest to tell her what a shitty gift she gave you and you ended up being a viral news story? Well, that’s what you get.
– I don’t know, I didn’t think this through. That’s what I get.

But! There are two specific uses of “that’s what you get” that I think are unfair, annoying, and kind of smug and superior: the favor situation and the expectation of service situation.

In the favor situation, basically, you ask someone to do you a favor, and because it’s a favor, and you’re imposing, you basically have no real right to expect it to be done the way you’ve asked it to be done, or the way you need it to be done. If it comes out wrong, well, that’s what you get. You CAN’T expect something to be done right, because it’s a FAVOR. I think this is pretty well illustrated in the comments of one of my own settle this posts here. Since the person needing to be woken up has asked a favor of the other person, they basically HAVE to take what they get in terms of their request being followed to the letter. That’s the tone of many of the comments, anyway.

I don’t agree, though. I think an adult can ask another adult for a favor and have a reasonable expectation that their favor needs will be met, if the fav… ee… favee! agrees. Of course, there are exceptions. If you ask a chronically late person (don’t get me started) to take you to the airport and you miss your flight, well, that’s what you get. If you ask a terrible cook to make all the side dishes for Thanksgiving and everyone spends the next day rotating between the two toilets in the house, well, that’s what you get.

But if one reasonable favor asker asks a reasonable favee to perform a task, and the favee indicates that they can indeed perform said task in the way described and then does NOT perform it in the way described, I don’t think the asker is in ANY way deserving of a “well, that’s what you get.” Just because the favee decided to go all rogue and free form doesn’t mean it should be in any way expected just because it was a favor. In fact, as an adult, agreeing to be a favee does kind of obligate you to perform the task as agreed. Not just willy nilly it because, hey, it’s a favor. No big. I’m doing you a favor.

Of course, as the asker, you cut slack and don’t ask too much, and give thanks as appropriate and, you know, follow all the asker/favee rules of behavior. I’m just saying, the mere fact that something is a favor doesn’t mean that the asker has no right to expect it to be performed the way it was requested. In a favor/favee situation, the use of, “well, that’s what you get,” should not be automatic and is often a BUNSHOLE use of “well, that’s what you get.” Eh? Yes? No? Are you automatically obligated to accept whatever you get from a favee, even if you have taken the time to outline your needs and they were understood and accepted upon the time of asking for the favor? Is a “well, that’s what you get” deserved in ALL cases of favor/favee relations?


Uh, no.

SECOND. Expectation of service. There are certain places that, because they have fallen out of public favor – well, they haven’t, not really, just certain segments of public and their favor – it is best just not to mention it if you don’t receive stellar service when you go there because, well, THAT’S WHAT YOU GET.

For the sake of this post, let’s use Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, because those are the two I’m specifically thinking of at the moment, but I’m sure you could add one or two more two the list. Setting aside all “how could you shop/eat there?” comments for whatever reasons people have for making them, I don’t know what any of those reasons have to do with the idea that someone should be expecting or even, judging by tone, expecting poor service if they choose to go to these places.

Because McDonald’s serves unhealthy food that some people don’t eat and could never possibly wrap their minds around why you would eat it, if you do choose to go there and get poor service in exchange for your money, well, that’s what you get. Because Wal-Mart employs business practices that some people don’t agree with, causing them to make the choice not to shop there, if you have a completely-unrelated-to-business-practices poor experience at Wal-Mart, well, that’s what you get.

I don’t know if this one is especially clear, but it was one that I always came across in the comments on The Consumerist, before it became a completely useless website without comments. An article would be posted about, say, Best Buy. A good article, highlighting some consumer-related issue of general interest to the readers of the website. And without fail, there would be some cocksock in the comments saying, “well, that’s what you get for shopping at Best Buy.” As if the simple act of entering a retail store that someone else doesn’t like and expecting goods and services in exchange for the money you earned makes you some kind of backwoods, dumbass, someone needs to hold your hand before you lose it up your own ass schmuck. No!

No, I refuse to accept that. I want to take my money into any place I want, and I don’t care if other people like the place or don’t like the place, I don’t believe it’s an exercise in predetermined insanity to expect it to just… go smoothly. For a place of BUSINESS to conduct their BUSINESS. It should be a SURPRISE when it doesn’t happen properly, not just… WHAT I GET. What I get, because other people don’t like the place because of some totally unrelated whatevers.

Of course there are exceptions, like the one Carl’s Jr. where all the soda from the fountain tastes like cleaner, or everyone has the one coffee place in their town that never gets it right and everyone KNOWS that, or whatever. But in general, you know, if I get on Twitter and I say, “Holy shit, I was checking out at Wal-Mart and the clerk picked up my box of cake mix and DUMPED IT INTO MY BRA,” and someone is like, “Well, you know. Wal-Mart. That’s what you get.” NO. BUNSHOLE. BUNS. HOLE.

YOU DON’T JUST GET CAKE IN THE PANTS!

I welcome your thoughts and opinions on other appropriate and/or bunshole uses of “well, that’s what you get,” even if they contradict my own, because I might contradict you back, and, well, that’s what you get.

So. Clearly I’ve been stewing on this for a while. Feels good, man. Feels good.

Unrelated Penelope.

 

 

Victory shoes and Makeup Monday 2: The Balm Apricot Skin Renewal Lotion. And Stuff.

Note: Please save part of this post for tomorrow. Which part you save is up to you. I’m not controlling or anything.

Toward the end of last week, I started to feel crappy, details don’t matter, but I had a rough couple of days, and Phil really stepped up in taking care of things around here and letting me get some extra rest in order to make sure that sort of crappy didn’t take a turn for extra crappy, so on Friday, I was kind of rushing around in the afternoon to pick the place up before he got home, plus do the couple of things around the house that he usually feels like he has to do the second he comes in the door. He’s one of those types, you know, can’t relax until his things are done. So I figured I’d do all the things, and he could just kick back after really stretching for most of the week.

Except things kept happening. You know, after last Monday’s entry, I guess typical Penelope stuff. Stuff I’ve come to expect from a Penelope. I forgot to lock the dishwasher (we have to lock the dishwasher to keep her from getting in it, but that doesn’t stop her from randomly starting it up whenever she wants) and she got out some serving forks. I could hear her with them, so I approached slowly. You have to approach slowly when the Penelope has contraband, because if she knows you’re coming to take it, she’ll run. With FORKS. Or whatever she might have. And if she’s running, and you’re closing in, she’ll throw whatever she’s got, like some teenager with pot running through the woods behind the house party that just got busted, flinging the baggie off into the brush in desperate hope of not being caught but also maybe being able to find it again later. Except it’s not pot, it’s my cell phone and it’s not the brush, it’s probably the kitchen floor. Anyway, this time she didn’t run, but she did throw the forks at my face.

She threw ham at the wall.

When discussing Penelope’s behavior on Twitter the other day – which I don’t do too often, because of reasons, but I wasn’t feeling very well so was just generally totally beaten – someone suggested that I possibly might need to reevaluate what behavior I consider acceptable, because it is hard to believe that a two year old could be that bad all the time. That is, could it be that my standards of behavior for Penelope are much too high, making it seem as though she is constantly misbehaving, when in reality, it is just me, expecting too much from a toddler? Is this just a case of me not knowing that I need to pick my battles? Am I exhausting myself – and probably Penelope – with my impossibly high standards?

No. No, that’s not the case. I let the ham go, y’all. I do choose my battles. I do. If she’s not throwing something at my face, I mostly let it go, with a reminder that in this house, we pass things to each other. We don’t throw.

(Oh yeah, we’re those schmucks now. Come into our house, and you’ll get pulled aside for the little speech, like those, “Oh, we try not to say ‘No,’ we feel like it crushes her spirit,” except it’s more like, “Oh, please don’t throw anything in front of her, not even your car keys to your spouse to move the car, we feel like that’s why she keeps throwing shoes at my face, so if you could just pass things to each other and then make a huge fucking deal about what a great pass that was, that would be GREAT, thanks.” We know we sound like a couple of pass holes. We know.)

This is what’s not okay: hitting, harassing the dogs, eating out of the trash/throwing things in the trash, taking things from the fridge, throwing things at people, failing to obey reasonable requests when it’s very clear you understood and are deliberately disobeying for funsies.

Okay, I admit it, I didn’t totally let the ham thing go.

I... I can't explain this.

In my defense, I just asked her to get it.

So I don’t think I’m unreasonable in my expectations, and as you can see above, she might just be a BIT UNREASONABLE IN HER INTERPRETATIONS OF MY REQUESTS. I’m not saying she’s in any way an abnormal child, I’m just saying that normal is a range and to compose a range, you need to have children at each end. What you’re looking at here is an end child.

After the potato incident I mentioned last week, and the peanut butter incident – did I tell you about the peanut butter incident here? Brinkley ate half a jar of peanut butter, and then Penelope got the jar of peanut butter from the trash, and she had some. That happened. So after the peanut butter incident and the potato incident, we had some deliveries last week. We got some more child locks, and some more Door Monkeys, and a ridiculously priced Simple Human trash can with a pedal and a lock. Of course, after her nap, I turned my back for what I swear was the space of a super human speed bathroom visit and came back to this:

This is just a normal day, though, so no big. I mean, she gets into things, I pick them up. It’s just particularly ridiculous because that day was one thing after another, and, well, okay, she’s sitting in a pile of child locks. The point is, though, that I keep Phil updated on her doings throughout the day, and while he doesn’t ever come out and say it, I do kind of get a “… really?” vibe from him pretty frequently. It can kind of seem like, if he were home, this sort of thing wouldn’t be happening. Aren’t I even watching? How can stuff like this happen so frequently? He’s here every night and all weekend, and he doesn’t see this much stuff happen…

It doesn’t help that, a short time later – and, okay, I admit it, this is all on me – I had put her in her room for sneaking into the locked side of the linen closet (DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON HER HIDING IN THERE AND NOT MAKING A SOUND WHILE I RAN THROUGH THE HOUSE YELLING HER NAME OH MY GOD) and retrieving soda cans in order to fling them onto the kitchen floor, and I forgot that when I had to chase her out of her room earlier, I had left a tub of body butter on the floor. Okay. That was no good. That was no good at all. Especially because the body butter I have been using on her lately is one of mine (it works), so it is especially stinky and greasy. And it was so quiet in her room, and I went in there, and she was rubbing greasy, stinky body butter all over herself. And her hair. And the carpet. And everything ever.

BUT LET ME GET TO MY POINT, HERE IT IS, PENELOPE SCRIBBLED ALL OVER MY NEW SHOES!!

I slept in a little bit on Saturday, and when I woke up, Phil and Penny weren’t in the living room, or the kitchen, and I wandered into the playroom and didn’t find them. But I smelled some really strong cleaning smell, and I found them both in the guest bathroom. Phil was standing at the sink, with the water running, and my new sneakers that I had just gotten, just the day before, scrubbing at the toes with a magic eraser. Penny had colored all over the toes with a ball point pen.

“I JUST LOOKED AWAY FOR A SECOND,” he said.

ENTIRE LIFE? MADE.

Okay, I will keep you, WITH YOUR PERFECTLY-TIMED SHOE RUINING!

*****

It is Monday again, which means it is time for Makeup Monday, which is the second part of my post, because maybe you are not into makeup, which means you can abandon ship here, but I may not always be so solicitous as to write a whole other thousand words not about makeup, so don’t go getting used to it or anything. Thought I guess you’re totally SOL if you don’t like makeup OR my kid. Are you just hanging around waiting for me to start writing about World of Warcraft again? I mean, it could happen. My account is open. If you are, I mean… I probably should. Just to reward you. Because that is some dedication.

In the spirit of the No Buy, No No Blog, I have actually gone and USED SOMETHING UP from the pile in the picture in the original post detailing all of my restrictions and rules and plans for the whole project. Here is that picture.

So, while this isn’t my entire makeup collection, for my No Buy, No No Blog, this is what I’m working with. I’ll deal with everything in the picture in one of the ways described in the original post before the no buy ends. Well, everything in the picture, plus some things that hadn’t arrived yet at the time the picture was taken.

Today, I’m talking about the product indicated with the arrow – Apricot Skin Renewal Cream by The Balm – as well as some eye makeup remover wipes that came in the Allure Summer Beauty box, and the two facial moisturizers I currently use, and why they can go right to hell.

I am currently using the two facial moisturizers pictured. I’ve got pretty normal skin, I think. It’s not particularly prone to oiliness or greasiness, and I have what I think are pretty standard hormonal breakouts – probably one or two actual pimples once a month, maybe a threatened pimple here and there the rest of the month. Pretty lucky, I think, but I suffered for it mightily when I was younger. I’ve got really irritating patches of dryness, though, on my forehead between my eyes, next to my nose, and sometimes on my chin and next to my mouth depending on how hot my shower was, so I have to moisturize every day and heavily before makeup or my makeup will look flaky and horrible.

The two moisturizers pictured – Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 and Up & Up Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15, oil free – can go right the hell to hell, each for separate reasons. I use them in a pretty standard fashion – after the shower and/or before makeup, I put on a pretty thick layer and let it soak in. I put it on my face. My face, where the FACIAL MOISTURIZER is intended to go. My FACE, where I keep both my EYES and my MOUTH, most days.

If I use the Cetaphil, I get a taste in my mouth that I am pretty sure is poison. And it just hovers in the back of my throat for most of the day, ruining things and making life miserable. And look, smartbutticus, I know I’m not supposed to eat it. I don’t eat it. It’s on my face, all smeared around on there, and some of its fuminess kind of gets into the general mouthy area. I’m not rubbing it directly into my tongue. I guess it performs its general moistness duties okay, but the fact remains that when I use it, the back of my throat feels like a little man is standing back there with a fireplace bellows, releasing puffs of TERRIBLE all day long. It’s no good. It’s just no good.

And then there’s the Up & Up. I’m a pretty big fan of Target’s store brand of products, I haven’t had too many stinkers. Well, unless you count shmazors. And for a moisturizer, this does okay. Just okay. It’s not really anything super special as far as under makeup goes, considering my especially flaky spots, but for every day (I don’t wear makeup every single day) and before bed, I don’t mind it. Except for one thing. One teeeeeny, tiny thing. It’s trying to blind me. It gets into my eyes somehow – AND NO, I AM NOT APPLYING IT DIRECTLY TO MY EYES – even hours after application, even if I don’t feel like I am sweating any especial amount. It runs into my eyes when I’m just sitting on the couch, and holy shit, does it burn. It burns to the point that shortly thereafter, I’m barely able to keep my eyes open, what with the tearing up and the flames of hell and the rubbing and the splashing of water. BUT DON’T SPLASH THE WATER. Because that just seems to reactivate all the REST of the moisturizer on the face, which then rushes to my eyes. I’ve actually texted Phil at work near the end of his day to ask how close he was to coming home, because hey, I’m blind, and I can’t afford to show any weakness to Penelope, she kind of has the upper hand as it is. But it doesn’t happen every TIME. Only sometimes. At random. Maybe when Pen-o is about to stage some kind of coup. Maybe there’s a connection. I don’t know. I’m not a Makeup Scientist.

SO AS YOU CAN SEE. My current moisturizer selections are NOT EXACTLY EXCELLENT, so the samples I received in my recent order from The Balm were pretty well timed. I got two, and decided to start with the Apricot Skin Renewal Cream for no particular reason. I actually had a reason at the time, but I don’t remember it.

The Balm website says that this lotion smooths the skin and also slows down the aging process, but a small foil packet is hardly enough product to really evaluate those claims, so what I was really looking for was how it dealt with my problem areas, did it try to poison me, and did it try to kill me and/or enter into cahoots with my daughter?

Texture: I probably should have taken a picture, but I DIDN’T. This is a pretty thick lotion. It’s less liquidy than it is creamy, and has a greasier feeling than the two lotions I’m used to using. It’s not a slap on the face kind of lotion, but more of a rub it in type. It has a higher quality feeling to it than the two I normally use, which makes sense, considering it costs several times more than they do.

It actually made my face feel kind of greasy when it was on, too. I don’t know if greasy is the word. I think makeup people prefer the word dewy. Yeah. I was dewy as shit when I put this on. I used it at night only for the first two applications, which was about all that was in the packet. I wasn’t sure if I’d actually wear it under makeup, because it felt… tacky. Not tacky like the way I usually dress, but tacky to the touch. I kept thinking about that one scene with Jordan and Ted from Scrubs, before she was in that other show that makes up for the fact that she’s not a great actress by just writing for the fact that that’s her face. You know what I mean? I WANT TO TOUCH IT BUT I DON’T.

I didn’t really time it, or do anything really professional in nature like any kind of actual reviewer of products, but normally I put on my moisturizer and let it dry down for a bit, then put some more on my trouble spots before applying my primer and foundation, or BB cream, or whatever the hell I’m going to wear that day. I didn’t really notice this stuff drying down completely for a while. I don’t know how long a while is. You’re going to have to ask someone with a clock. I probably could have gone ahead and applied primer over this, but… I don’t know. Not my style, really.

Poison-ness: I don’t know what something called Apricot Skin Renewal Cream is supposed to smell like, but I’m guessing apricots. It doesn’t. But, good news! It doesn’t smell like poison, either! You know what it smells like? The Dollar Store at Christmas. Or that one store in your hometown that you go in and quickly realize it is really not for you because it’s all dolls or sun catchers or wall plaques with country ducks on them, but you’re the only person in the store in the middle of a Saturday afternoon and the lady who is clearly the owner came out from behind the counter when you came in, so you feel obligated to give a kind of courtesy wander of the store, but the longer you stay, the more it seems like she thinks you might actually be the type of person who is really into country ducks or whatever, so she starts kind of following you and maybe pointing out different things in the store that she thinks you might like, or that are on sale, and, really, if you were into that kind of thing, you’d have to admit, you’d be a FOOL to pass up the deal, but you’re NOT into that kind of thing, and now it’s awkward, and you have to walk out the door without buying anything. So that’s kind of a weird smell for a lotion, and it’s even weirder if you think that it was maybe intended to smell like apricots, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t think country duck when I think apricot. I like apricots.

Kill/Cahoots: No attempts were made on my life during the use of this lotion. This probably could have gone under texture, but it didn’t run at all, and I don’t feel like if it did run, it would have caused any pain to my eyeballs.

Effectiveness: Like I said, the foil packet really isn’t enough to judge if the Apricot Skin Renewal Cream can, you know, renew skin. I got two full applications out of it, and in the interest of the No Buy, No No Blog project and using things up, I squeezed out the last bits and applied them to my most troubley areas, and you know, I was pretty pleased. I ended up just applying makeup in the middle of the night to send ridiculous pictures to Diane and Jonna, but hell of my skin didn’t look kind of fantastic under the clown face. I could actually see using this at night, something a little lighter out of the shower, and then this again on my flakiest areas.

Rebuy: So, would I buy this again? Well, it smells funny, but that kind of wears off eventually. It’s expensive, to me, at $29 for 2.36oz, compared to, say, $7 for 4oz of my usual murder lotion. But can you really talk about price when you’re talking about murder lotion? I have three more lotions to consider in my No Buy, No No Blog project: a Nutrogena from the Allure Summer Beauty Box, a sample from VMV Hypoallergenics that’s been kicking around my tippy piles for a while, and another foil packet from TheBalm – Grapefruit Antioxidant Day Face Cream (spoiler: it smells like the locker room at the YMCA.) I know that the poison/murder lotions are out the door for sure, but I don’t know for certain what will replace them.

****

SPEAKING OF APPLYING THINGS DIRECTLY TO EYES: Simple brand Eye Makeup Remover Pads for sensitive eyes! Yes! Ish! I have definitely applied these directly to my eyeballs in my attempts to learn how to tightline my eyes (which I can now successfully do THANK YOU), and I was not killed, nor was my daughter allowed to launch any of the multiple plots that are surely in any of several different stages of hatchery at any given time. Excellent. EXCELLENT.

EXCEPT.

Any makeup remover pad, when confronted with waterproof makeup, or lots of makeup, or lots of waterproof makeup many times over, like when someone with ham hands is learning a new skill very close to the eyeball, is going to be rubbed over the delicate eye area lots of times. Waterproof eye makeup is tough stuff, and eye makeup remover, especially that designed for sensitive eyes, cannot just go at it with fire and chemicals and burn that shit all to the ground. So it takes some swiping. And swiping. And swiping. So any makeup pad, no matter how intended to be gentle, is going to start to feel like you’re taunting your eyelids with a fiberglass mitten. These are no real exception.

So. If you’re sensitive to actual makeup remover, as in, the formulation of the stuff hurts your actual eyeballs and skin, Simple Eye Makeup Remover Pads for sensitive eyes are an excellent choice. If you’re sensitive to having the eye area rubbed repeatedly with cotton-like pad thingers, well, maybe just rub it once or twice and call it good enough. You know what they say. Tonight’s mascara & eyeliner are tomorrow’s smoky eye.

I started with boats, and somehow got eggs. Keeheehee.

Every night for the last… I’m actually not sure how many nights. I’ve lost count. That’s a lie. I wasn’t counting. Every night for the last significant while, I’ve gone to bed with the firm intent to be better in the morning, in almost every single area of my life. Seriously. Almost all of them. It’s very tempting right now to try to think of some obscure life area in which I am already perfect, but that feels too hard right now, since I’m really struggling lately with this headache thing – remember when I was in the hospital and accused you of not caring, but I really didn’t carry the joke off well, so it didn’t actually come across at all that I really WAS in the hospital? Yeah, well, it was for a headache thing, and it’s just no good. You don’t have to concern yourself. I mean, a moment of passing concern is fine, because I’m sure you’re a compassionate person on some level, but we don’t really know each other and it’s not a tumor or anything and there’s no real risk to my health, I’m just in a lot of discomfort, and I took one of every pill on the bedside table already tonight, so I can’t really think of anything clever — HEY. Pill taking, completeness of. NAILED IT.

Anyway, two hundred words down, all garbage, starting over. So I’m going to bed with the intent of just doing better at all of it tomorrow, and not in the “go GET ’em, slugger” kind of way, where I’m pep talking myself, but more in the resigned, heavy sigh, tomorrow’s another day, just… try again kind of way. And I wouldn’t even call it best intentions, or even good intentions. Is must intentions a thing? Can you must an intention? I don’t know. I’m not looking that up. I don’t even know how to look that up. I don’t have to look that up. It’s not a thing. You’ve been reading here long enough to know I play kind of fast and loose with whether or not a thing is a thing. That is not an area in which I intend to improve. When a boat needs to be bailed out, we do not paint the trim. Besides, I like the trim. Up yours. Up yours is part of the trim, by the way. Have a seat. Help yourself to snacks. Put your feet up. The water is getting a mite high.

I regret using the sinking ship analogy. It’s too dramatic. I am not a dramatic person. Unless it suits my purposes. It did there, for a minute, but now it doesn’t, so forget that whole thing, except the bit about the trim, because I liked that part.

So, right, going to bed with the must intention of being better in just about every area possible. And it’s just not long at all into that next day before I’m ticking off “not so goods” on my list of areas. I’m super impatient with Penny, I don’t get any laundry done, 3pm comes and I have no dinner plans, “do you want to watch a show” turns into three episodes of the Fresh Beat Band. And, I don’t know, a whole crap load of other stuff I’m not stupid enough to put on the Internet. What am I, new? (I’m not new.) And then the weird thing is, the night rolls around, and I CANNOT UNDERSTAND how these things happened. Especially being impatient with Penny. Because she is sleeping and adorable, and how could I POSSIBLY make an angry face at sleeping adorable Penny? But THEN it is DAYTIME again, and I cannot imagine how I am supposed to NOT be impatient with Penny, because HONEST TO SUPERMAN, if you could see this kid in action.

I’m saving this post for tomorrow.

Okay, it’s tomorrow, and the baby is napping, and I still feel the same way, but I vented it out a little bit on Twitter this morning (summary: it’s a terrible age, they seem like people but they’re just large babies, basically feral with lots of spitting), and I guess I wasted my boner for this blog post. I just feel bad a lot. And it turns out it’s common. There’s just this space between her terrible behavior and my knowledge that look, she’s not even two and being terrible is part of learning how to function as a whole person, and I’m the person she has to be terrible AT. And in that in between space is a whole lot of room for me to act like the worst person ever. And I do. Over and over.

I feel like it’s a lot to explain, yet somehow I crammed it into just a couple of 140 character tweets this morning, and that’s my excuse for not wanting to do it again right now? Honestly, Internet, you should demand better. Hence the theme, right?

It’s like a domino effect of badness, though. When I was in Weight Watchers in high school, back before you could do it online and tell your computer screen, “Oh, I’m wearing heavy earrings today,” like it believes you any more than that lady ever did, the leader had all these annoying sayings that were only annoying because they were so fucking true, like about BLTs – bites, licks, and tastes. All the shit you put in your mouth when you’re making a lunch or cooking dinner, it doesn’t have zero calories, it all counts, and now that I’ve said “BLTs” to you and explained it? Yeah, enjoy the rest of your miserable life, because that’s never leaving your head. And there was this other one that stuck with me. If you’re carrying a dozen eggs and you drop one, you don’t throw the other eleven on the ground. It’s supposed to be an argument against “starting the diet over on Monday” if you have a bad day, or even against starting over in the morning if you have a heavy lunch or whatever. And it makes sense, right? In a really fucking annoying way, because you really want to eat pizza all weekend, because there’s leftovers in the fridge. But it’s in your head, and it makes sense.

BUT LATELY, I swear, even though I go to bed all resigned to carry all my eggs in a more carefully crafted container (we all did that “experiment” in middle school, my egg survived, I’m basically a pro) in the morning, not twenty minutes into the day, not only have I dropped an egg, I’m standing on top of the furniture, flinging eggs at the walls, and then SEEKING OUT MORE DOZENS OF EGGS TO THROW AT OTHER UN-BE-EGGED THINGS.

Have I gone too far into this? I started this post last night and didn’t skim the top before I started up again. I know I started with boats, and now I’m at eggs. I feel like I’ve gone too dire again. I don’t feel like it’s SO dire. I just feel like it’s life. And I feel like maybe I’m focusing too much on Penelope. I mean, she’s the head egg, to be sure. And she’s always the first egg I crack. But this kid, she is BEGGING TO BE AN OMELETTE.

It’s not just her. It’s not. I don’t want you to think I’m just messing up my kid and calling it a day, I’m messing up everything. No, that’s not really true, because that makes it sound like I’m taking an active part. There’s some passive failures, too. But then, the word “failure” is also too much. You know, this whole blog post is just making a lot out of nothing. There’s just a lot of nothing. That’s a good way to put it. There’s a big open space, and that space is an area that is available for me, an area that is open for me to make improvements. And it’s hanging there, empty. There is a LOT OF ROOM for me to work. No one is in my way, nothing is stopping me. Opportunity is there, and I’m not taking it.

Is this making sense? I’m trying to put this in a way that doesn’t make it sound like there’s a dramatic ANYTHING going on over here, because there’s not. There’s life, being lived, not so entirely to my satisfaction, but I’m not sending up flares and asking you to share feelings with me, okay? This is not that blog. I’m just telling you how it’s going, and as is my way, I’m using a lot of words and not getting it done. Look, it’s a metaphor, or whatever. Here’s my blog space, a lot of space, and I’m using it ineffectively to do things wrong and fuck shit up and look, I’m just going to throw my last couple eggs here on the floor. For fuck’s sake. You know what, I’m not deleting any of this. Screw you. IT’S NOT LIKE I’VE MADE IT SEEM WITH ALL THESE WORDS. Just… GUESS at what I’m trying to say.

NaBloPoMo! Another opportunity to throw a bunch of damn eggs onto the damn floor! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BOAT. I SWEAR THERE WAS A BOAT.

Look, can I just tell you some good things about my kid?

She was a dragon for Halloween.

She is 18 months old now. She needs to be actively engaged just about every second of every day, or she will devise some new way to be evil. Some of them are actually kind of insanely genius, in ways that you just wouldn’t think a kid her age could come up with. Unless you have a kid her age already. In which case, you could have warned me.

She’s doing pretty good with talking. She was a little slow with words for a while, then it just blew up. She’s putting together sentences and will actually hold a mini conversation, if your expectations of conversations aren’t high, and if you’re okay with only talking about what Penelope is interested in. For a week or two, she was picking up one new word every few days, taking a day or two to perfect it, and then sticking it into her little conversations. Then it was a new word a day. Now she’s picking up several new words a day. We stopped counting. A couple of days ago, she found some tights and called them “shoe pants.” I didn’t even know she knew the word pants.

She finally calls me mama, after a really long time of dada being just about the only word she knew. The best part about it is not that she’s stopped calling me dada or just yelling for my attention. She actually still just yells for my attention. No, the best part is that she often calls Phil mama, and she does it specifically because it annoys him. She thinks it’s funny. I think it’s funny, too. I think it’s really funny.

She tries to jump (she learned it from an episode of the Fresh Beats), but can’t, and her failures are hilarious and enjoyable, but not at her expense, because she thinks she is jumping, and loves it. She’s started to take an interest in other kids, and will lean around me and yell, “HI!” at any small size person she sees. We’re going to spend a month in Pennsylvania, just me and her (if anyone has dragged a Marathon car seat on a plane, first hand stories are welcome – and “you don’t need to, you can check it!” is also welcome, but will be politely passed over, because I know that I don’t need to legally, but I do need to sanity-ly, so I am and it’s already decided), and I’m looking forward to her enjoying some play time with her cousins of the same age.

One of the absolutely best things about Penny is how much she loves the video for Put Down the Duckie. She does these deep swinging arm claps, like an aerobics instructor, which is adorable all on its own, but the best thing – the BEST THING – is that she calls Ernie by his laugh. I don’t know how to better explain that. You know how Ernie laughs, right? That keeheehee sound? That’s what she calls him. And that’s how she asks to watch the video. She asks for Ernie, but she doesn’t call him Ernie. She calls him his laugh. And that is how we will survive, for now.

Keeheehee.

Skip the whole first part and give us your money.

– So I used to have this other blog. Actually, when I had that blog, I would say, “So I used to have this journal.” Let’s just agree that I have written things on the Internet since I had to pick a block to live in on Geocities, or since I discovered I was allotted some free space on AOL, since those digging animated construction men were something people ACTUALLY USED, since pitas, since buying webspace and hosting other writers, since designing sites that made different size windows open and changed your cursor shape and it’s all out there still.

Well, not ALL of it. I have a lot of it still, though, and you should collect all of yours while you still can, because you’ll want it some day. Actually, collect ALL of the things you like right now, especially if you are very involved, because you’ll want it back at some point and it really doesn’t stay out there forever, no matter how much people assure you that everything on the Internet is going to be there until the end of time. Like all of the archives of this blog? I get to keep them forever, but you don’t, not really. They’re cached out there, I guess, but eventually, soonish, I guess, I’ll decide that X-many years is too many, and lop one or two of them off the end, and put them on our back up drive thing that Phil… works.

ANYWAY, back up to the top. So, one of the main search terms that LEAD to my blog was, “Jonathan Brandis dead,” and that’s because he was, and I had written about it within moments of it hitting the Internet. I’m not exactly sure how fast things hit the Internet then. I don’t really remember. There wasn’t Twitter.  It was 2003. I think the entire entry was just, “Holy shit, Jonathan Brandis died. What do I do?” Or something like that.

I don’t think I was ready then, at (math, math, math… ) 21 years old, for Jonathan Brandis to die. Of course, that’s a dickish thing to say, because who was ready for Jonathan Brandis to die? Certainly not his parents. Or his friends. Or anyone. But you know what I mean? His pictures were all over my walls when I was in middle school. From Bop and Big Bopper. That’s what I spent my allowance on. Well, that and Metal Edge. I was a complicated child.

(No, I wasn’t. I’m not a complicated adult, either. I had in between years where I’d have liked to think I was complicated. I think everyone goes through them. You can tell when someone is going through them because if they’re female, they post pictures on Facebook that are actually pictures of text, talking about how if a guy is actually a man, he’ll fight for them. And how if you can’t something something at her worst, something something best. And on Twitter woe-ing around about coffee, coffee, there’s NEVER enough COFFEE, and how everything is much, much, much more difficult for them than it is for normal people. And then one day, you get to the other side,  I guess, and not only realize your own complete averageness, but learn to enjoy the shit out of it. And just GO GET SOME COFFEE.)

I was driving over the bridge today and I realized, I’m still not ready for Jonathan Brandis to have died. I called my mom at work – from work – the second I found out he had died. I mean, I made an emergency call with urgency, like I would have if I had discovered a close friend had died. I hadn’t mentioned Jonathan Brandis to her in years. It had been forever since the Jon-a-thon in my living room. I don’t remember the last time I watched an episode of seaQuest (yes, I do).

I think we all know that at some point, it is going to start, where all the people and icons and celebrities and names that we know, the ones that are ours, specifically, are going to be the ones that are cropping up on the regular, and I guess now that that kind of is. Sort of. Not our teen idols, though. Not yet. That is not supposed to be starting yet, I am not supposed to be dealing with that yet. The Davy Jones people are supposed to be coping and coming to terms, not me. And certainly not 21 year old me. And now I’m 30, and I’m still not ready, and mine is already gone.

And you don’t even know. I mean, my whole FAMILY could quote lines from seaQuest, because I dutifully set my VCR to record every episode (it was on at 9pm, guys!), and watched them until they were wobbly. OH. And one time? Jonathan Brandis was a guest star on Saved by the Bell, the College Years. A Thanksgiving Episode. And we didn’t HAVE a VCR, so I taped it on a CASSETTE TAPE. Held to the television. And I can still recite it by heart, complete with MY OWN SHRIEKING in the background.

So I feel like I wasn’t even remotely prepared for that at 21. I don’t know how you can expect to be. I’d lost family members by then – several. And I don’t know if it sounds crass to say that this was different, but it was. I mean, the whole teen idol obsession thing is a different… thing. So I didn’t really… do anything. Just that blog post. “Holy shit, Jonathan Brandis died. What do I do?”

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t then, I don’t know now. I think I missed my chance to do anything. Was I supposed to cope? Can I cope? Is this a cope thing? I know it still eats at me. Once in a while. It jumps out at me, from nowhere. Just like I originally wrote it.

Holy shit, Jonathan Brandis died. What do I do?

Anyway, what a stupid topic for a blog post.

– Point two!

Phil is participating in the Extra Life gaming marathon to raise money to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.

Specifically, Phil is raising money for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital has been nothing short of amazing for our family. Our first encounter with PCH was an emergency room visit – we were sent there from our pediatrician after trying for several weeks to figure out what was wrong with three month old Penelope, with instructions not to stop at home, the doctor called ahead and told them to expect us.

You can imagine the condition of two new parents upon arrival under those circumstances.

Above, you can see a picture of Penny from just a few months ago, in July, right before her surgery at PCH. Her first stay at Phoenix Children’s not only helped us figure out what was going on with her, but hooked us up with her awesome GI team and amazing pediatric urologist, who performed and surgery and just released her from her prophylactic antibiotic regimen. Hopefully, next year, he’ll be telling us to get out of his face and never come back.

Like all Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, PCH treats thousands of children every year, regardless of their ability to pay. Though we are lucky enough to not find ourselves in a place where we can’t afford health care for our child, donations to PCH through this fundraiser will allow the hospital to continue to support those children with the same above and beyond care they gave and continue to give to Penelope.

Please click here to view Phil’s fundraising page (and also to find more information on Extra Life, as well). We’d truly appreciate any donation, and on October 20th, I will provide continual updates on the progress of the guy who goes to bed at 8:30pm every night but thinks that staying up for 24 straight hours is going to be “no big deal.”

HA!

Thanks so much, really!

– Last thing!

Registration for PJs at TJ’s opens tomorrow! Again, spots are limited and registration is $50. There is a handy graphic over in the sidebar to let you know the status. I’m not expecting a huge rush on the remaining spots, because I am not Oprah inviting you all over to my house to do a favorite things show.

(“And if you look under your seats… EVERYONE IS GOING HOME WITH A MAGIC EEEEERASSSEEEERRRRR!!!!”)

I’ll get a post up around noon tomorrow (Pacific time, as that is where I live and it is convenient for me) giving you the heads up that it’s open (I feel weird being formal about this, but if I am not, and there does turn out to be some random rush on the spots, then someone will call me out for being a jackhole, and I am NOT IN THE MOOD), and then just click on the badge and email me, and I’ll give you instructions on how to pay me.

And kapow, you’ll be registered!

When the last of the spots are gone, however long that takes (days, weeks, never), I’ll change the graphic to indicate as much.

As a reminder, PJs at TJ’s will be in Phoenix-ish, AZ, from 2/22/13 to 2/24/13. You’ll need to fly here, or otherwise make your way to the Phoenix area, as well as secure lodging – a list of local hotels will be provided. You’ll also need to arrange transportation to and from the airport, whether that be splitting a rental car, or Super Shuttle. None of that is covered in the $50.

What is covered:

– Dinner Friday night
– Breakfast Saturday
– Ridiculous amounts of snacks/beverages
– Awesome pajama party Saturday night
– Breakfast Sunday
– A lovely bunch of people to hang around with and a location in which to do it, except when I need you to leave, for reasons.

Lunch on Saturday is not covered, but there are lots of places to go, plus my experience last year was that between leftovers and copious amounts of… ridiculously terrible for you junk food… no one went hungry.

It’s a good time. And I assure you, like I did last year – if you’re interested in going, but think that when I say that the open registration spots are open for everyone, but I don’t mean you, because you never comment/only talked to me once on Twitter/think it’s only for my specialest friends, I urge you to get over that and come anyway, because you will have a good time and all of that is in your head.